2 Corinthians 1

Paul says ‘Hello’

1 This letter is from me, Paul. God chose me to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. Our friend Timothy is here with me as I write.

I am sending this letter to you, the people of the church in Corinth city. I am sending it also to all of God's people who live in other places in Achaia.

2 I pray that God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ will continue to help you. I pray that they will give you peace in your minds.

God himself comforts us

3 We thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, because he is so good to us. He is such a very, very kind Father, and only he himself can really comfort us. 4 He comforts us during all things that cause trouble and pain for us. So then, as a result, we ourselves can comfort other people who have any kind of trouble or pain. We can comfort them because God himself has comforted us. 5 We have very much trouble and pain, as Christ did. We have very much trouble and pain because we are his. But, in the same way, we know also how very much Christ comforts us.

6 If we are sad because of troubles and pain, that helps you. It helps to comfort you, and it helps to save you. Or, if God comforts us, that helps to comfort you also. It helps you to be patient and strong during the same kind of troubles and pain as we have. 7 So, we continue to be completely sure about you. You have the same troubles and pain as we have. And, in the same way also, God will comfort you as he comforts us. We know this.

8 Friends, we want you to know about the great trouble that we had in Asia. It was very, very difficult, like a heavy weight that was much too heavy for us to carry. We ourselves were not strong enough to carry it. We thought that we were going to die.

9 Deep inside ourselves, we thought that we would certainly die. This showed us that we ourselves are not strong. It is God who is strong. He is the one who causes dead people to live again. We needed to know that only he could help us. 10 And God did save us from great danger that would have killed us. We believe strongly that he will continue to save us in future times. 11 You also help us because you pray for us. Many people pray for us. And God will answer what they pray. He will be good to us. And so, many people will thank him on our behalf.

Paul explains why he did not visit Corinth earlier

12 We have lived in this world as God's people should live. We have been careful to be honest and good with everyone. And we have been like that very much with you. We ourselves are sure that this is true. And we are very happy about it. We have not tried to be clever as human people can be clever. But instead, we have done only what God has made us able to do. 13 We are writing to you only things that you yourselves can read and understand. And I hope that you will understand completely. 14 You do not understand us completely yet. But I hope that you will understand. On the day when our Lord Jesus will return, you will be very happy because of us. You will be as happy because of us as we will be happy because of you. I hope that you will understand this completely.

15-16 And because I was so sure about you, I decided to visit you first. I decided to visit you on my way to Macedonia. And then I would visit you again on my way back from Macedonia. So then you would see me twice and I could help you twice. And then you could help to send me on my journey to Judea. 17 When I decided this, I was serious about it. I do not decide to do things only because I myself want to do them. I am not ready to say ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ at the same time, like someone who does not know God.

1:15-16Macedonia was north from the country that is called Greece now. Judea was the south part of Israel.

18 As certainly as God is true, our message to you was not ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. 19 Silas, Timothy and I told you about Jesus Christ, who is God's Son. He is not someone who is ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. Instead, by him God was and is saying ‘Yes’ to us. 20 Everything that God has promised becomes ‘Yes’ because of Christ. That is why, by Christ, we can thank God. By him, we can agree that all God's promises are true. And we can say how very great and good God is.

21 God causes both us and you to be sure and strong because we are united with Christ. It is God himself who does this. And he has chosen us to be his own special servants. 22 Also, God has put his mark on us, to show that we belong to him. He has given his Spirit to us, to live deep inside us. And his Spirit causes us to be sure about what we will receive from God.

23 I decided not to come to Corinth at that time, for this reason. It was because I wanted to be kind to you. I did not want to be angry with you. God knows that this is true! 24 We are not trying to be like masters. Masters would tell you what to believe about everything. We are not trying to have authority over you like that. We know that you believe the right things. And you are strong because you believe those things. But instead, we are working with you so that you will be happy.